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Construction Skills Shortage

Building Trade News

First published Wednesday 4 February 2015 in North-East Business News
Author: Andy Richardson

A CONSTRUCTION skills time bomb is ticking, with shortages in key trades and professions, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

Results from the FMB’s latest State of Trade Survey for Q4 2014 show small construction firms are experiencing particular difficulties recruiting carpenters, joiners and bricklayers.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said: “As the shock waves from the latest economic downturn continue to reverberate through the construction sector, concerns over diminished workloads have been replaced by concerns over skills shortages.

“This time last year, only 27 per cent of firms were struggling to recruit bricklayers – that figure now stands at a sizeable 42 per cent.”For carpenters and joiners, the figure has nearly doubled with 23 per cent of firms reporting issues in Q4 2013 and 44 per cent of firms now saying these tradespeople are hard to come by. We’re also seeing a rising and significant shortage of roofers, plasterers and site managers.”

Mr Berry continued: “The skills time bomb has arisen for a number of reasons. Around 400,000 construction workers left the industry since the downturn hit in 2007 and many will never return. If you combine this with an increase in workloads as the economy recovers, all the signs point to the skills shortage getting worse before it gets better.

“The FMB is working hard to help address this skills shortage but the Government must also play its part. If ministers could do one thing to help address the problem in the medium term, it should be to review its proposed apprenticeship funding reforms, which our members tell us will prevent them from being able to train apprentices. In the midst of a skills crisis, it’s the last thing the construction industry needs.”

Mr Johanson, spokesman for Local House Painters Glasgow said ” there is a desperate shortage of experienced painters and decorators in Scotland. The lack of companies taking on apprentices in recent years is now starting to show its impact on the industry” He went on to say, “That industries around the globe were appearing to be no different with his good friend Laszlo, is finding it difficult to find suitably qualified staff for his Sydney Removalists business to allow him to grow his business there. The owner of a local taxi business said the same about finding qualified drivers.”

Maul Products Pty Ltd Makes Debut in Australia

Wheel stop and Bollard supplier Maul Products has recently been launched in Australia to service the lucrative car parking market. Thousands of both wheel stops and bollards are damaged and replaced each year.

Marketing Manager for Maul said that they had strong forward orders for their concrete filled plastic wheel stops from apartment developers keen to use the fashionable new design that Maul had brought to Market.

 

Building a sustainable home doesn’t have to have expensive bells and whistles. With a few key design principals, a sustainable home can be built at little to no additional costs!

Chef and restaurateur Dan Zeidan and his partner Vicky Kordatou embarked on a colossal and experimental project to build their dream sustainable home. The home is located on a 10 acre property at Kinglake, an hour away from Melbourne. This is an area familiar to extreme climate conditions; it was one of the worst hit by the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009.

With the help of eco designer Joost Bakker, Dan and Vicky achieved a zero waste and flame zone rated home made from recycled and recyclable nontoxic materials including straw bale walls for insulation, fire proof magnesium oxide board as cladding and an exterior made up of a metal cage filled with crushed brick for a unique finish. For Dan and Vicky, aesthetics were not the top priority; rather they wanted a home that was functional and coexisted with its environment. The outcome is a home that will withstand and endure the harsh elements of this site and most importantly a home that was designed and built with sustainability in mind.


A sustainable home must respond to the local climate and surrounding environment, remaining comfortable with minimal heating/cooling demands. Here are some simple ways to incorporate sustainability design principles in your home.

PASSIVE SOLAR DESIGN

Passive solar design uses the energy from the sun to heat, cool, and illuminate the home, resulting in low heating and cooling bills. There are three key elements:

1. Building Orientation
Choose a site or home with a good orientation for your climatic and regional conditions, this will maximise the site’s potential for passive heating and passive cooling. Good building orientation and appropriate room layout will bring warmth to living areas in winter and shade protection and cooling breezes in summer. In Australia, the ideal aspect is for main living areas to face north or north-east

2. Carefully designing the building envelope (roof, walls, windows and floors)
Careful consideration of window placement and size, glazing type (double or treated glazing), efficient heating and cooling systems, solar hot water, solar panels, green roofs, walls and facades, rainwater capture and greywater reuse can enhance the performance of your home.

3. Existing buildings can also be adapted or retrofitted to be more sustainable.
During a renovation, reorient rooms (where possible) for optimum solar design. Adding insulation to ceilings, walls and floors, and adding energy efficient lighting and water efficient fittings are also simple, effective ways to improve a home.

SUSTAINABLE BUILDING FEATURES

4. Green roofs, walls and facades
These features can reduce stormwater drainage and improve the thermal performance of a building by reducing heating and cooling. On a larger scale, it can help cool a city, create and preserve various habitats and promote ecological biodiversity which enhances our urban landscape and cleans the air.

IMAGE: CR Land Guanganmen Green Tech Showroom built in 2008 by Vector Architects in Beijing, China is a great example of a green wall application. For more images click here.

5. High Performance windows – when building, window systems are one of the high cost ticket items and selecting the right solution for your home is key. There are many window configurations on the market, from using low-e coatings, selective transmission films, inert gas fills and thermal breaks to a combination of these for the right application. Energy efficient windows will make your home more comfortable while dramatically reducing your energy costs and helping to create a brighter, cleaner, healthier environment.

Finally to help you with your next sustainable project and research don’t forget to attend the Sustainable House Day and keep the Sustainable checklist handy for your reference.

6. Sustainability checklist for designing a new home or renovating a home

  • Locate rooms most used (kitchen, lounge and bedrooms) on the side of the house orientated to the North.
  • Locate rooms to take advantage of winter sun and cooling summer breezes.
  • Consider window size and placement to promote and enhance cross- ventilation to the south, east and west.
  • Thermal mass can be achieved by locating utility areas (laundries, bathrooms and garages) on the south or west where possible, avoid locating sleeping rooms on the west.
  • Structures such as carports or sheds that will block northern sun should be minimised if located on the northern facade.
  • Overall landscape design and plant placement should funnel cool breezes and block or filter harsh winds.
  • Vegetation should be pruned to avoid blocking out winter sun. Planting deciduous vegetation that allows winter sun to penetrate and provides shade during summer is a great option.

7. Sustainable House Day

Since 2001, Sustainable House Day (in collaboration with the Australian Solar Council) has given visitors a chance to inspect houses that have been designed, built or renovated with sustainability in mind. This year’s event will be held on Sunday 13 September from 10am to 4 pm. For more information and a list of participating homes near you, visit sustainablehouseday.com.

Author Credit: www.emergingspaces.com.au

 

Home Security

The technology available for residential homes in 2015 is simply extraordinary. Wise Group Home Security in a recent release predicts continuing strong growth in home automation solutions and predicts this global trend will continue globally for some years to come.

Consumers have only had the old type of alarm panel as their past home technology interface. Shortly, according to industry insiders, consumers are going to have solutions that will allow communication and interaction with their home on an extraordinary number of levels in real time.

A recent report by United States research house, Transparency Market Research, valued the global home automation market at US$4.4 billion in 2014 and predicted it would increase at a compound annual growth rate of 26.3 per cent until 2020, taking the market to over $US12 billion.

Transparency Market Research found trends boosting the market were automated solutions used for lighting, safety and security, HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning), entertainment, energy management, as well as many others.

Mr Kyle Gray, Wise Group Solutions Business Manager said, “architects and engineers were now looking more closely at home automation options and although Home Alarm Monitoring has played a high priority in the past, more emphasis is being placed on such things as managing energy usage through heating and cooling applications. He went on to say, “with the advancements in technology, confidence in wireless solutions has grown significantly and we are also seeing a greater call for this type of home automation solution.”

The prolific number of new products coming to the market in the ‘affordable’ automation space clearly indicates that the home automation market is growing at a rapid pace and there’s no sign of it abating.

From what designers have hinted at having on the drawing board, the possibilities in home automation solutions are endless. These new applications will put the automation panel as being a key component to not only greater home security but also play a major roll in home energy savings from the time it is installed.

You can learn more about Wise Group Home Security and their Home Smoke Alarms by visiting their website link below www.wisegrouphomesecurity.com.au

 

Business Contact

Mr Kyle Gray

Wise Group Home Security

Level 2, 233 Castlereagh Street, Sydney NSW Australia 2000

+61 02 9210 0000

kgray@wisegroupsolutions.com.au

Niche: Home Alarms

 

 

THE USE OF ART IN WORKPLACE DESIGN AND FIT OUTS

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art-workplace-office-design

Typical real estate office fit outs are usually the traditional shop-front with windows full of glossy A4 brochures.

An entirely different scene greets you when you step into Bresic Whitney’s new Darlinghurst offices. Large screens in the reception area show video art, not properties. Huge canvases and neon sculptures fill the walls and there’s not a brochure in sight. You could easily assume you’re in an art gallery.

Art and design have become essential components of the Bresic Whitney brand and experience, especially as the business grows. Director Shannan Whitney started a personal collection in 2003 with the purchase of a Bill Henson photograph and decided to hang it in the first Bresic Whitney agency in Victoria Street, Darlinghurst, where the interiors had been completed by architects TobiasTheodore (a collaboration between Telly Theodore and Nick Tobias at the time). “I thought it looked better in the office and I also realised that it got more exposure,” he recalls, adding that he really started to consider a corporate collection in 2008-2009 when the company was opening its Glebe office.

“I have a tough, hard-edge aesthetic and am interested in styles of art that involve different mediums and challenging perceptions. I wanted to take that personal experience with art and apply it to our business needs. That way, our staff and consumers – be they buyers, sellers or tenants – would all start to interact with art,” says Shannan.

Shannan has continued to focus on building Bresic Whitney’s collection that now numbers more than 70 works. Many of Australia’s finest contemporary artists are represented including Adam Cullen (dec.), Freddy Timms, Rosemary Laing, David Noonan, Shaun Gladwell, Ben Quilty, Daniel Von Sturmer and Brook Andrew, as well as a growing raft of internationals.

As the business expanded further and outgrew the original Darlinghurst offices, Shannan had a chance to think about a new headquarters where art could be central to their culture. He decided a corresponding investment in design would be appropriate to frame the collection and create an attractive office environment. When assessing potential premises, it was important to Shannan to consider both the spatial requirements of the business and those who would benefit from it: primarily staff and clients.

“In many ways, it is our people that set us apart. We are asking people to commit to us, to come and work in our offices and to contribute to the agency’s success. So, if we want good people, the question becomes how are we going to attract and keep good people? I think in return, we have a responsibility to make the work-space as pleasurable and enjoyable as we can,” he explains.The search for new premises yielded a raw, industrial warehouse in Darlinghurst. “Once we found the property, it was important to unlock the potential and give the space the respect and the opportunity that can rarely be expressed without good architecture.”

Part 2 of this piece to be published next week. Stay tuned!

Bresic Whitney: www.bresicwhitney.com.au

Chenchow Little: www.chenchowlittle.com/p-bresic-whitney-office.html

Images: Courtesy of Bresic Whitney.

Content production: Freya Lombardo

We acknowledge that this article was supplied to us from the CharterBuild.com.au blog managed by Jane Bright, their Design Director. 

Sydney based Charter Build is a leading commercial interior fit out specialist that is well known for delivering office fit out solutions tailored to meet individual client needs.With over 15 years in the industry, and in excess of 400 completed projects in that time, they have the experience and array of services that provide an exclusive and personalised service to their clientele.
They pay particular attention to the client’s envisioned outcome to ensure that from conception to completion reflect the client’s business image and requirements.

The company predominantly operates across Sydney Australia but also undertakes numerous interstate projects each year. The principal activities of the company range from office design, commercial office fit outs and full project management of the process.

One important aspect of the business is the working relationship they have built up over many years with Property Developers, Business Owners, Builders & Estate Agents. They know how to create and revitalise the finished space within budget requirements, whilst keeping in mind the end objectives that each client has.

Mr Colin Brandon, Managing Director of Charter Build told Gaters DVD, “We strive to deliver an outstanding customer experience on all levels and this is backed by state of the art digital design technology, employed to meet individual client requirements.”

To learn more about Charter Build’s and the office fit outs Sydney showroom, you are invited to visit their website charterbuild.com.au

Business Contact
Mr Colin Brandon : Managing Director
Carter Build : Office Fit Out Sydney
Suite 4.14, 77 Dunning Avenue, Rosebery, NSW, Australia 2018

Mosquito Control On Construction Sites

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Why is Controlling Mosquito’s on Your Building Site Important?

Mosquitoes are a major health risk on building sites. Ensuring that you find ways to control mosquito outbreaks will prevent yourself and your workers from getting illnesses related to these pests.

There are over 220 mosquito species in Australia and many of these are carriers of diseases like Dengue Fever, Malaria, and Ross River Fever. These diseases can make people very ill and can in some cases lead to the death.

Mr Arrond of Pest Control Sydney said that there main emphasis is to keep you and your workers safe from mosquito related diseases. The following are ways that they carry out mosquito control.

• Removal of all the potential breeding sites in your building site.

Mosquitoes are attracted to breeding sites that give them what they require. Clearing all these potential areas will help in stopping their breeding cycle and hence eradicating mosquitos from that area. Ponds of water are one of the mosquito’s favorite breeding grounds. The female lays eggs on the water surface, the eggs hatch into larvae which in turn live under water and become pupae, which also then live under water. After it emerges from the water it becomes an adult mosquito.

They have experts who help to identify and clear all the breeding grounds. They use Eco friendly chemicals which have been approved for mosquito control.

Long grass and large bushes are also used by some mosquito species as their preferred breeding places. The only way to prevent any infestations in these locations on building sites is by clearing the bushes and cutting short or removing any long grass.

• Mosquito traps

Trapping mosquitoes can be a tedious task but placing traps around the construction site will get all the mosquitoes in your immediate working area. In some cases, mosquitoes may not react to the placed repellants or pesticides and trapping them in this way is the most convenient method to capture the pests.

• Mosquito repellant sprays

One way to curb mosquitoes in construction zones is to spray a mosquito repellant by certified applicators. Pest Control Sydney note that the advantage of spraying a repellant is that it works fast, unlike the trapping method. They conduct the spraying when the building site is vacant of workers. This ensures that you have no contact with the chemicals which some may be allergic to.

Building Industry Prospers While Buyers Need Credit Repair

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Sydney is one of the world’s 10 most expensive cities for prime residential property, and since Sydney is an important hub for business, the building industry flourishes as the demand for new spaces is constant. The need for affordable housing, apartments and office buildings are much greater than ever. But because of the soaring prices of Sydney homes spurred by interest-rate cut months earlier, more people are facing financial stability risks. If you’re wondering how high the prices are, well, it’s been reported that the rise has been thrice as fast as the growth of the capital markets in the city.

The house price growth in Sydney continues to outpace all other cities, but homeowners aren’t feeling any richer. In fact, most are struggling to pay their mortgages. To help them pay for their mortgages faster and with less burden, some homeowners have come up with brilliant ways to handle their mortgage problems.

House Sharing
Since Sydney has become the most expensive city for renters, some have thought of sharing their houses to earn a little, just enough to help them with their mortgage and maybe make more savings.

Granny Flats
Because of the shortage of affordable housing in Sydney, homeowners build tiny houses or backyard apartments popularly known as granny flats to rent out. Granny flats are considered a legal rental unit and are rented out at the price of $550 to about $680 a week.

Renting out other spaces
In Sydney, every space inside a house is valuable and some consider renting out spaces in their homes because it would mean earning about $200 or more than a month. There is a big demand for this type of rental as some people are looking for spaces to occupy for a short period of time.

With the rapidly increasing housing prices in Sydney, more and more Sydneysiders are finding it hard to repair their credit. Having a very low credit score can affect you negatively.

Living with bad credit is tough as it can make a lot of things difficult and even more expensive. For instance, banks routinely check credit scores before giving out a credit card or a loan.

If you have a bad credit, getting a credit repair is extremely important. Start by paying your past due accounts and aim of being current. Remember, a better credit score opens up new opportunities to a person – from employment, to starting a business and to buying the dream home. Knowing you have a good credit score also gives you the security of knowing you can borrow money anytime you need it.

Waste Management During Construction

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Construction wastes are unwanted materials produced by building construction. This include building materials such as lumber, electrical wiring, brick, concrete and wood as well as waste from site preparation such as tree stumps, dredging materials and rubble. Construction waste may contain asbestos, lead and other hazardous substances. Building waste can be as high as 10 to 15% of the materials, there is a big opportunity to reduce this waste. Many elements of construction waste can be re-used and recycled.

Building materials and other construction wastes like refuse building materials, surplus and hazardous wastes must be properly managed and disposed of to reduce the risk of pollution. Proper waste disposal, recycling, spill prevention, proper material handling and cleanup measures can reduce the potential for contamination of surface or ground water.

Every year around 1000 slips or accident in construction sites results in someone fracturing bones or dislocating joints. These accidents can cause permanent disability and has a huge impact on work and personal life. Many of the incidents are caused by something in the person’s way such as construction materials or waste. Sensible waste management during construction can reduce waste, reduce disposal and transportation cost, save on raw materials and improve safety whilst protecting the environment.

Efficient identification and sorting of materials is important in waste management. Materials may be sorted into a number of containers provided by service companies that specialize in management of construction waste. Waste management companies offer construction sector a number of specific tools and solutions which can help reduce the amount of produced waste, re-use and recycle more materials as possible, make efficient use of resources and save on the cost of waste disposal. They will determine the most effective and safest way to remove and collect construction materials from the site.

Waste management companies provide pre-demolition and refurbishment audits. They give detailed information on what materials can be reclaimed and recycled to reduce the cost and environmental impact of waste. This information can help bring savings by re-using existing materials and earning from selling materials that are not needed.

From small construction projects to large scale development waste management companies can advise on the proper type, size and placement of skip bins to keep the job site cleaner, safer and more efficient. Typical skip bin size ranges from 3 to 9 cubic meter containers. When dumpster is too big for the site dumpster in a bag can be the best waste removal solution. This is perfect for small projects or sites with limited space.

Roll-on roll-off is a cost effective and efficient system for bulk waste removal. This is best suited for commercial and industrial customers who generate large volumes of waste and have the space to store containers on-site. RORO is ideal for dense, bulky, non-compactable materials like timber, wood, concrete, steel, bricks and soil.

Skip bins containing construction waste are collected and transported to diversion facilities to be sorted. Diverted materials are incorporated in new products as recycled materials or processed for reuse. Materials distained for landfills include refuse, contaminated waste materials and materials without commercial value. Waste management is an important part of project development. Efficient and effective waste elimination and reduction maximize resource recovery, reduce waste to landfill and improve environmental sustainability.